The NHS is reportedly planning to roll out jabs to five-year-olds after SAGE scientists warned in the summer that kids were the key drivers of coronavirus infections
Primary school children could be offered coronavirus vaccines due to fears that kids are driving up the number of Covid-19 cases in the UK.
The NHS is reportedly planning to roll out jabs to children as young as five if the plan is approved by regulators.
According to leaked documents, parental consent will be needed for kids aged between five and 11, and the environment in which they receive their jabs will need to be “appropriate”.
Over the summer, SAGE scientists warned that children were driving adult infections around the country.
In September, NHS England began rolling out vaccines for children aged between 12 and 15.
Now, health officials could go even further and offer jabs to younger kids, with a decision likely to be made in the coming weeks, The Times reports.
The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is expected to announce that jabs are safe for children, while the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) is debating on whether to recommend vaccines for kids or not.
This morning, Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said the JCVI is still looking at the evidence as to what level of protection Covid-19 vaccines would offer primary school children.
He told Sky News’ Trevor Phillips On Sunday programme: “There is no plan at the moment to vaccinate primary school children for the reason that the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) is still looking at the evidence as to what level of protection it would offer those children.”
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He added: “The most important thing is to boost the most vulnerable – that is absolutely the priority.”
Earlier this week, Professor John Edmunds, a member of Sage, called for jabs to be rolled out to five to 11-year-olds as soon as a licence is given.
He said: “This wave of the epidemic that we’ve had since June — the Delta wave — has been driven really by school-age children.
“Every child who is infected will expose an adult. They all live at home with adults. So from that, transmission can occur.”
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) approved the use of the Pfizer vaccine for children aged 12-15 in May and for children aged five to 11 in November.
Due to the fast spread of the latest Omicron variant, Covid-19 booster jabs will be available to millions more people in England this week.
The national booking system will open to everyone aged 30 to 39 from Monday so they can make appointments to get a booster three months on from their second coronavirus jab.
The move comes amid concerns the UK is facing a major wave of infections in January, with scientists warning up to 75,000 people could die of Covid-19 in the next five months if further restrictions are not introduced.
Experts from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) said tougher measures may be needed to prevent Omicron from causing a high number of hospitalisations and deaths.
The scientists, who advise the government, said the new Covid-19 strain could cause between 25,000 to 75,000 deaths in England over the next five months.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.